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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 24, 2000
11:47 AM
CONTACT:  Sierra Club
David Willett, 202-675-6698
Cheney Pick Would Be Threat To Environment
Supported Oil Industry On Many Issues
 
WASHINGTON - July 24 - The Sierra Club today declared that possible Republican Vice Presidential nominee Richard Cheney had a strong anti-environmental voting record as Wyoming's sole member of the House of Representatives from 1979-89.

During his tenure in Congress, Cheney consistently voted against the environment, with a lifetime average score of 13 percent, according to the non-partisan League of Conservation Voters, including a zero percent pro-environment voting record in 1988, his last full term in Congress. Reports indicate that Gov. George W. Bush is strongly considering the selection of Cheney as his running mate.

"Adding Cheney to Bush's ticket would make a bad situation for the environment worse," said Dr. Robert Cox, President of Sierra Club. "A Bush-Cheney ticket would be just what the oil industry wants. They both support weakening the Clean Air Act, oppose protection of public lands, and have consistently opposed efforts to protect the health and safety of our environment."

Polls consistently demonstrate that voters of all political persuasion want their elected officials to protect the environment.

"We're disappointed that Gov. Bush may ignore this national consensus by selecting a running mate with a dirty record," concluded Cox.

Cheney's record is littered with anti-environment votes, including the following:

* Voted Against Clean Water: voted to sustain President Reagan's veto of the Clean Water Act on February 3, 1987. He was only one of 26 House members to oppose overriding President Reagan's veto.

* Voted Against Clean Air: voted to postpone sanctions against clean air violators, on December 3, 1987. The oil industry strongly supported this vote.

* Voted Against Community Right To Know: voted against an amendment to require oil, chemical and other polluting facilities to report on their toxic emissions, on December 10, 1985. The oil industry strongly opposed this amendment.

* Voted Against Citizens' Rights to Sue Polluters: voted against an amendment to allow citizens to sue in federal court if they were harmed by pollution from abandoned toxic waste sites. The vote was on December 10, 1985.

* Voted Against the creation of Great Basin National Park in Nevada: voted strike this provision from H.R. 3302 on April 30, 1986. Great Basin is the only National Park in Nevada.

* Supported drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: cosponsored H.R. 1082 by Rep. Don Young (R-AL), in the 100th Congress. This bill was and remains a top priority of the oil industry.

Cheney has also had a poor environmental record as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Halliburton Company.

* One of Halliburton subsidiaries is a responsible party at the Tri-State Mining District Superfund toxic clean-up site in southwestern Missouri. The site contains lead and zinc contamination.

* According to the Halliburton website, it had an "increased environment incident rate for 1998," the last year data was listed.

* At the end of 1999, Halliburton also had 107,650 open asbestos claims, which is 30% more than in 1998.

* Many of Halliburton's facilities produce a great deal of pollution. For instance, the Halliburton facility in Duncan, Oklahoma is in the top 20% for dirtiest facilities in the United States, according to EPA data from 1997, collected under the Community Right to Know Act.

Rep. Richard Cheney's (R-WY) environmental voting record in Congress.

1987-88: 0% 1985-86: 16% 1983-84: 13% 1981-82: 4.5% 1979-80: 20%

 

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